Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MLK day of Manatees

 We headed out to see Crystal River yesterday because we figured the beach would be too crowded by the time we woke up and got ready. So we went "hiking" instead (which is basically taking a stroll through the woods, here in The Swamp).
It was nice to feel the sun on our skin again. Between arctic blasts, an unusual amount of rainy days, and horrible bronchitis, we haven't been outside as much as we usually are. We were lucky to have such a nice (chilly) day to go for a walk through the woods -- even though most of us coughed the entire way, and Ashley's feet got itchy due to her allergy to the grass here.
 In this picture, Ashley is so excited because they took a different rout than Josh and I, and they saw a strange Beetlejuice cemetery. She took pictures and will post them on her blog soon.

Crystal River's city mascot is the manatee, and there are statues and paintings of them everywhere. When we stopped to ask a park ranger where we might be able to see some manatees, she said "Turn right at the Sonic, and stand on the bridge." So that's what we did.

 These kayaks are about how big the manatees were. We were so excited when the manatees silently swam below us! We could see them in person much more clearly than you can see them in the pictures.
 Then some rowdy boys grabbed on to the do not jump off the bridge sign, and jumped off the bridge, scaring the manatees. They were lucky they didn't land on any of the endangered manatees OR the boats that quietly passed underneath us.
I look a little mad (and the camera stretched me weird-ly), but really it was just windy and chilly up there on the bridge, even in the sunshine. Everyone had fun seeing the manatees, and now I can check that off my Life In The Swamp to-do list.

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